Relationships are about face to face human contact. Relationships are about two people struggling together and loving each other in their daily lives as they exist in the everyday world of reality. Not virtual reality!
It is now possible for people to have relationships because of Facebook and texting but never meet in the real world. It is possible that these two people declare their love for one another without ever meeting. It is possible for one person to trick the other person into thinking that they actually are deeply involved with them when they have no intention of ever meeting that person. Or if they meet the person then one day they become a “ghost.” Gone… like they were never there. It is possible to be in an intimate relationship with a partner while he/she is in a multitude of texting relationships with others. It is possible for scammers all over the world to take advantage of good hearted people’s love and vulnerability and then devastate those lives forever.
There will be a new set of psychological DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) diagnoses because of the social media phenomenon that is presently occurring. So many people are becoming susceptible to having disastrous relationship interactions because of the vast outreach social media gives us for supposedly better connecting.
We are now more disconnected than ever before.
We can just sit alone in our rooms and write messages to strangers who can write back to us as they sit alone too and delude ourselves into thinking we are romantically and lovingly connected. We can suffer from the “Disconnection Syndrome” – meaning the inability to actually know how to communicate and interact with a live human being that is in front of you. Or “Addiction to the cell phone syndrome” – the inability to put the phone away for more than a few minutes without experiencing anxiety and depression. What a sad commentary on relationships, on human behavior.
Do not be fooled into thinking because you are in a heavy duty romantic texting relationship with someone that you are actually in a real relationship if you have never met. Don’t be fooled by someone who writes eloquently about you when they can’t speak these words in person. Don’t fool yourself either by believing you are giving of yourself if you can’t do it in front of the other person.
Be careful. Be smart. Be aware. Be human. Keep your romantic relationships away from virtual reality… stay real, where real people exist… in your everyday world. Human to human contact.
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Sheryl Aronson, MFT